The following are some interesting facts about Daylilies:
Daylilies have been cultivated since ancient times. They were used to decorate Roman temples and tombs. During the Middle Ages they were planted in gardens and private homes for decoration or for their ornamental value.
Today, daylights are still collected from wild populations of these plants.
In Japan, daylilies are known as “Kuroi no kami” (精神の神) which means divine flowers. These flowers are believed to bring good luck and prosperity to those who grow them. They are usually grown in small clusters in flower pots and sold at shrines or festivals where they serve as offerings to the gods.
There are over 50 species of daylilies worldwide, with approximately 10 genera and 20 species native to North America alone.
Daylilies are among the most popular houseplants in the world. They are easy to care for and require little maintenance. Daylilies make excellent additions to any home décor.
A few common names for daylily include: Bluebells, Bluebells of Heaven, Lady’s Lace, Lily of the Valley, Morning Glory, Purple Pansies and Violet of Paradise.
There are many different types of daylily flowers. They can come in almost any color of the rainbow and in a variety of patterns. Some have spots, some have stripes and some have dots.
Their leaves are usually thin and straight but can be thick and curly. Daylilies typically bloom once a year in the spring, though some may bloom in the summer or autumn. Each plant normally produces two to six flowers, though they may produce up to thirteen.
The daylily is a perennial plant that grows from a small bulb. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and can spread out to about 1.5 feet in diameter.
Each stalk typically has 2 to 6 flowers. Each flower only lasts for one day, hence the name “daylily.” These flowers are most commonly yellow or orange but can also be red, white, purple, pink and blue. The flowers have three large outer petals and three small inner petals. From the center come 6 to 13 upright stamens with yellow anthers and a single green blade-like filament known as a spur.
Daylilies are classified as monocots meaning they have a single initial; each leaf blade has a parallel venation and no vascular bundle is free; new leaves are folded and tubular at first. They also normally have flowers with three petals and three sepals, and their seeds are in capsules.
Daylilies are very easy to grow from seed. Without fail, they bloom every year and are resistant to most pests and diseases. They can be divided or propagated from bulbs, but this is an unnecessary step if you’re going to replant them anyway since they grow so readily from seed.
If you decide to divide your daylilies, do it in the early spring before the leaves begin to sprout. Be careful not to disturb the bulbs. You’ll need a spade and a garden fork for this job, or you can just use your hands if you’re strong enough. To separate the plants, gently wiggle the plant out of the ground while holding onto the bulb and carefully lift it.
Daylilies are typically planted in the spring since they don’t like extreme hot or cold weather and are best planted in full sun. They like soil that drains well but is moist. They like to be planted at least six inches deep.
Typically daylilies are planted in clumps but if you want to maximize the number of flowers you can plant a single row or two at least three feet apart.
When it comes time to harvest daylily blooms, use scissors or pruners to cut them. They should be cut when they’re still in the bud stage, and definitely before they open. After you’ve harvested them, it’s time to dry them out.
Some people like to put a drop of bleach on each daylily petal since it helps to keep bacteria from growing on the petals. Each daylily typically yields about three drops of oil so it’s not really necessary unless you’re planning on using a lot of daylily flowers. You can also use a food dehydrator or even just leave them out in the sun.
To get the petals off the stem, grasp the top of the petal and the base of the green part and just slide them off. If you want, you can leave the green parts on the petals or you can take them off. This is totally up to personal preference.
The reason you don’t want to cook with daylily petals is because they typically have a lot of pesticides on them. Drying them out helps to get rid of some of the pesticides, but if you’re really worried about it, you can also just buy daylily capsules at a health food store and skip the whole process.
If you’re using fresh petals, the general rule is one tablespoon of petals per cup of oil. You can use any kind of oil; the best ones are the cheapest ones. I typically use canola or corn oil.
Blend or food processor the petals and oil together for about a minute. Store in a cool, dry place in a glass jar. Label and date your jar since daylily oil will keep almost indefinitely if it’s stored properly.
When using daylily oil topically, use with caution around the eyes or other sensitive areas. Do not apply to burns, cuts, or skin abnormalities and wash hands thoroughly after use. If you’re pregnant, seek the advice of a physician before using.
If you notice redness, swelling, or other unusual symptoms, cease use immediately and contact a physician.
If taken internally, use with caution. It is not recommended to take large amounts of daylily (or most any other) oil internally since it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and sickness.
You can use daylily oil in cooking, but it’s typically used sparingly since a little goes a long way. One drop is typically enough for whatever you’re trying to do whether it’s flavoring food or using the oil in its liquid form.
I use it in everything from scrambled eggs to baked goods and even salad dressings. The possibilities are endless!
I’ll be writing more about herbs and other topics in the future, so check back whenever you get a chance!
Categories: Homegrown Food, Herbs, Kitchen Tips, Miscellaneous, Recipes, Survival
Sources & references used in this article:
Hemerocallis (daylily) propagation by WC Dunwell – … PROCEEDINGS-INTERNATIONAL PLANT …, 1996 – hortscans.ces.ncsu.edu
Cold temperature treatment as a means of breaking seed dormancy in Hemerocallis by RA Griesbach – Hemerocallis, 1956 – 220.127.116.11
Development of triploid daylily (Hemerocallis) germplasm by embryo rescue by M Rogers – 1990 – Storey Publishing
Daylilies for every garden by Z Li, L Pinkham, NF Campbell, AC Espinosa, R Conev – Euphytica, 2009 – Springer